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Morning Bell 1 March

Bell Direct
March 1, 2024

Wall St closed higher overnight as investors shrugged off unfavourable key inflation data to post gains across the key indices which remain in line for a winning month. The inflation data reading came in the form of US core PCE prices which excludes food and energy increasing by 0.4% from the previous month, while rising at an annual rate of 2.8%, indicating inflation in the world’s largest economy remains sticky. GDP growth data was also released on Wednesday, indicating the US economy grew by 3.2% in Q4 which was slightly less than economists were expecting and well below the 4.9% growth recorded in Q3. The Dow Jones ended Thursday’s trading session 0.15% higher, the S&P 500 gained just over half a percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied 0.84%.

Over in Europe, markets closed slightly higher as investors reacted to key inflation reports. The STOXX600 closed 0.1% higher with construction stocks leading gains, up 1.2% whilst healthcare and food and beverage stocks both fell 0.7%. Germany’s DAX closed 0.44% higher, the French CAC closed down 0.34% and over in the UK, the FTSE100 ended the trading session 0.07% in the green.

Locally yesterday, the ASX200 closed half a percent higher with all but the utilities sector ending the trading session higher. Real estate and the consumer discretionary sectors lead gains up 1.73% and 1.29% respectively whilst the utilities sector fell 0.33%.

What to watch today:

  • The Australian share market is set to open slightly higher, with the SPI futures suggesting a rise of 0.04% at market open this morning.
  • On the commodities front this morning,
    • Oil is trading 0.4% lower at US$78.22 cents a barrel as investors await the OPEC+ meeting in March where discussions will be held on the ongoing output cuts.
    • Gold is trading 0.47% higher at US$2044 an ounce and iron ore is trading 0.84% lower at US$118.50 a tonne following a decline in home sales in China, consequently lowering margins for steel furnaces, meaning input buying declined.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter maintains a buy rating on Electro Optic Systems (ASX:EOS) and has increased its price target from $1.60 to $2.30. The buy rating is maintained following strong CY23 results which saw a return to positive EBITDA earlier than was forecasted. The company is currently experiencing substantial price growth and with a reduced cost base, Bell Potter has upgraded their EBITDA margin forecasts to 6%, 10.5% and 12% in CY24, CY25 and CY26, respectively.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU), indicating that the stock price may rise from the close of $1.75 to the range of $1.93-$1.97, on a pattern formed over 8 days, according to the standard principles of technical analysis.

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